As well as being a tremendous place to fine-tune your skills, the driving range is a superb spot for some people-watching.
If you pay particularly close attention, you’ll see a lot of different ‘types’ in the bays next around you.
Here are some individuals that we’re confident you’ll find at every range…
1. The Plain-Clothed Flusher
He’s nothing special to look at. Jeans, T-shirt, trainers – completely unremarkable. Then he takes a swing and morphs into Adam Scott. A beautiful, penetrating ball flight. A proper frozen rope. Then he does it again. And again. And again. And again. An ‘inferiority complex’ klaxon rings out inside your head and you try to find another vacant bay as far away as possible.
2. The Future Major Winner
Who’s that skinny, young fella with the picture-perfect swing, Brylcreem-infused side-parting and the Air Pods shoved in his ears? That might just be the 2035 ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’.
3. The Pushy Parent
Usually heard dishing out painfully awful advice and/or loudly berating a four-year-old kid wearing a Spider-Man costume. Believes that dreams are to be lived vicariously and has precisely zero chance of winning ‘Father/Mother of the Year’ this or, indeed, any other year.
4. The Full-Kit Chopper
You know the type: pristine polo shirt, pressed trousers, shoes polished to such a high sheen that you can see your reflection in them, a baseball cap, a white belt, a fresh-out-of-the-packet glove, and a tour bag. Everything’s colour-coordinated, they’ve got their own impact tape, and you can safely put your mortgage on them shanking their first dozen balls.
5. The Tireless Grinder
There before you arrive and still there when you leave, The Grinder has no quit, ridiculous levels of stamina, extremely callusy hands and two alignment sticks. For them, ‘Operation: Play Better Golf’ will never end.
6. The ‘Only There To Hit Driver’ Guy
Pays for 100 balls, hits half a dozen iffy wedges to ‘warm up’ – then rips off the novelty animal headcover and lets the big dog out to play. Has been playing off 17 for years.
7. The Time-Pressed Pea-Sheller
Can you hit 100 balls in under ten minutes? This guy can. And this guy will.
8. The Unwanted Advice-Giver
There you are, minding your own business, happily hitting balls, when all of a sudden you hear a voice. “If you don’t mind me saying…” he begins, before launching into an unsolicited attempt to “fix your game”. He’s convinced he’s the best coach Tiger never had. In reality, he’s Brian, a door-to-door salesman, who has never broken 100.
9. The Persistent Phone-Checker
Hits one ball and then spends the next five minutes casually scrolling through their phone. Does this on repeat until they run out of balls or their battery dies. Whichever comes first.
10. The Pro-Botherer
“When you getting that new TaylorMade driver in?”; “Have you hit that Callaway 3-wood yet?”; “Who’s your money on for the Open?; “Can you put this putter aside for me and I’ll pay for it next time I’m in?”; “Did you hear about ‘Big Alan’?” Seriously, mate. Leave the poor guy alone. He’s trying to run a business here.
11. The ‘New To This’ Hipster
Likes: Craft beer, skin tight trousers that stop above the ankle, the idea of owning his own allotment, pumpkin seeds as a snack, and Arcade Fire. Dislikes: Showering more than twice a week, shaving, anything starring Jason Statham, and Christmas dinner. Wants to play golf because (1) “it’s mainstream but in an ironic way, yeah?” and (2) you get to wear a woolly hat. Guaranteed to be the guy that causes a deafening clang when he shanks one into his bay’s metal partition.
12. The Bored Partner
Whilst you’re busy holding your pose, your other half – who you’ve dragged along in an effort “to impress” – is a few paces away looking up their ex on Facebook.
13. The Annoyingly Good Old Guy
Sure, he only takes the club back half as far as he used to, and the steel shafts have been swapped out for graphite ones, but he still finds the middle of the clubface every damn time, the brilliant swine.
14. The Pubescent Skiver
Should be studying for his A-Levels but, instead, is taking aim at the golf ball collector just past the 175-yard sign. Most likely to ignore the 'Stay Off The Grass' sign in order to retrieve a few extra balls. Hunts in packs.
15. The Happy Gilmore Guy
Thinks he's the first person ever to take a run-up at the ball. He's not.